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Acorn RISC OS taskbar[edit]

Perhaps the Acorn RISC OS 'taskbar' should be mentioned -- it was a grey panel at the bottom of the screen, that displayed the icons of running programs along with a 'main menu' (Acorn logo'). Not identical to Windows' taskbar, but very similar and predates it by several years. 19:57, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually it doesn't predate Windows Taskbar with several years. Windows 1.0x had a taskbar-like panel in the bottom, showing the running tasks in iconified state. This was in 1985, two years before RISC OS ;) Dylansmrjones 17:52, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
that's not a taskbar, it's iconified windows on the desktop —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:33, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree! RISC OS is a great OS, still being developed after all this time too :) it's taskbar is certainly worth some info about, possibly with images, especially as it predated windows 95 and possibly had some small influence on it. Xmoogle 01:59, 20 August 2006 (UTC)


Some of the information under the "Other desktop environments" is erroneous. The writer seems to be under the impression that the Kicker configuration that they have seen in some Linux distribution (or other *nix) which they describe is the only way Kicker can be configured. In fact the configuration they describe is quite exotic, and they unnecessarily compare the Kicker applets to their Windows equivalents.

It would also be nice to have some information on Mac OSX Dock's feature when a window is minimised and the GNOME Panel's 'window list,' unless this article is intended to focus on Windows Taskbar (if so that should be it's name). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC).

KDE's default is to have the taskbar in the kicker at the bottom of the screen! What kind of idiot wrote that its at the top? 21:31, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is free, feel free to edit it. Ivucica 08:25, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Sign your name below if you think 'Taskbar clock replacements' article should be merged with the 'Taskbar' article[edit]

Jonnylinuxnerd 18:06, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Ivucica 08:24, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

AFUSCO 15:18, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Dylansmrjones 17:52, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Sir Fritz (talk) 10:13, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

-- Felipe Aira 11:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC) We should also have room here for some kind of opposition, if there's any.

Getting rid of stupid unnecessary icons[edit]

Something I find incredibly annoying in Windows XP is that I have a bunch of icons near my clock that I don't want there. I've tried telling windows to stop loading them when it starts up through a multitude of ways but nothing works. It would be great if this article told people how to solve this problem. Doom jester 18:37, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Disagree. That's a system tray issue, and in addition to that, Wikipedia is not a users manual. (But here's a free tip: start->run->msconfig) Ivucica 08:24, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Why "shouldn't" Wikipedia have how-to's attached to articles? Or why shouldn't it become a How-to in itself? Just a thought. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Because it's an encyclopaedia, not a how-to guide. That's it. Lukys (talk) 08:10, 27 April 2012 (UTC)


would be nice if someone upload a standard gnome-panel(top and bottom)Praka123 02:43, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

yes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 20 December 2011 (UTC)


For me, the systray is the stuff on the very right, just next to the clock. ("Unpliug or eject hardware", "language" ...) So isn't there a difference between Taskbar and systray? (As mentioned in the references, systray is a never used, but planned term, but i'd still call the most right stuff systray.) --Saippuakauppias 23:45, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

notification area[edit]

I propose changing all these references to system tray as it is almost exclusively known as that these days (even by microsoft [1]) with a line about it's original name. I think this will be less confusing to the majority of readers. --neonwhite user page talk 13:48, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

That would be incorrect and I've added a citation to the article. Officially the area where icons are located is called the "taskbar notification area". I agree that it can be confusing to users, and that's why the "system tray" reference is noted and not deleted.
Charles Oppermann (talk) 00:56, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
It is not incorrect but simply what it is known as now even by microsoft as i have pointed out ("Microsoft Time Zone conveniently runs in the system tray") Personal views do not change this fact. Wikipedia has always reflected common usage not old terms that are no longer in use. We cannot make the judgement that it is incorrect, this is a violation of WP:NPOV as it only represents a single persons POV that is not the common view. --neonwhite user page talk 13:48, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
The Time Zone application is not developed by the shell team and is not shipped with the operating system. Just because there is an error in web page describing the tool is not evidence enough. Please refer to the citation I gave which is pretty definetive on the subject. I'll try a different wording because I do not wish to see a incorrect (but common as you say) usage perpetuated by Wikipedia.
Charles Oppermann (talk) 14:44, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
It's not up to you to decide that something is in error because you don't agree with it. The fact remains that system tray is common usage and are preferred over obsolete terms that are no longer in common use. PC World refer to it as system tray [2] as do Symantec [3], IBM [4], Mozilla [5], AOL [6], apple [7], Sun Microsystems [8], BBC [9], NBC [10], CNN [11] Microsoft [12] The logical way it should read is to title it system tray but note it's original name and that it is now almost exclusive known as the system tray. --neonwhite user page talk 23:36, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
When you say "almost exclusively known as the system tray" you discount the included help file, the online Windows Help and Support Center, Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines, and developer documentation.
This is a very petty argument. All I'm asking is that the text note that the name "system tray" is incorrect. Here's analogy: if your name is Bob, but some people (including some members of your famiy) call you Dick, what should your Wikipedia entry say? Given your logic, your Wikipedia entry should not mention your real name at all, because Dick is the popular usage.
This is not my opinion and I don't understand why you keep saying it is given the references I've cited previously. Yes, some people call it something else, even within Microsoft (but not the team that writes that code), but that does not make them correct. The name doesn't change because of popular usage. We can agree to disagree on this, but I think it's wrong of you to keep undoing my edits, I'm just noting that while "system tray" is a common usage, it is also incorrect usage. I have provided more than ample evidence to support this. We can continue to undo each other's edits, but assumeing WP:EQ we should work together on this. Question to you - why is my proposed text "(commonly - but mistakenly[cite] - referred to as the 'system tray')" objectionable to you? Will you provide alternative text that attempts to reconcile?
Charles Oppermann (talk) 02:58, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
The original citation I gave[1] was also published in a book(Chen, Raymond (2007). The Old New Thing. Addison-Wesley. pp. 47–49. ISBN 0-321-44030-7. ). Both the book and and the blog are authored by a developer on the Windows shell team and helped create the taskbar. Here's how the section starts: "Why do some people call the taskbar the 'tray'?":

Short answer: because they're wrong. ... One of the most common errors is to refer to the taskbar notification area as the tray or the system tray. This has never been correct. If you find any documentation that refers to it as the tray, you've found a bug.
"But why do you care? That's what everybody calls it now, may as well go with the flow."
How would you like it if everybody started calling you by the wrong name?
Summary: It is never correct to refer to the notification area as the tray. It has always been called the "notification area".

Emphsis is mine. Given that I've cited both a online and printed source from an acknowledged expert, and several other authoritative citations, and provided recent examples from those current and authorative sources (mainly the Windows Vista Help and Support Center); I'm going to restore my edit. I'll ask that before you undo the edit, that you provide a reason before that goes beyond the previously cited examples - which are not authortative and considered to be in error by the creators of the thing we are talking about. Charles Oppermann (talk) 02:19, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
What makes Chen's views relevant? Just because he was involved in some aspect of the shell's development hardly makes him an authority or relevant source about what things should be called. I think you're going to have to do better if you expect to have your assertion that the common term is incorrect stand. AldaronT/C 03:21, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Contrary to this microsoft developer, Adobe developers use the term system tray and have also developed on AIR class called SystemTrayIcon. [13] [14] --neonwhite user page talk 03:34, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood. Of course names and terms change by common usage. This is fundamental principle of etymology. If it were not true then we'd still use the exact same terms as we did thousands of years ago. Language develops and changes, that's just what happens, dictionaries are continually changed to reflect this. This is an important point to improve the article. wikipedia represents common usage of terms not obselete and rarely used terms regardless of who favours them, thats the bottom line. You cannot make the decision that one term is correct and the other is not based solely on one persons personal opinion when the majority appose. Wikipedia is not there to tell people what is right, we are not language police, it is not our job to decide what use of language is correct. It is on this point were you are misunderstood.
The simply fact is that system tray is almost exclusively the term used these days. It is neither correct nor incorrect, it is just obviously the case. The views of one person represent no more than a fringe POV that controvenes the mainstream views. This violates the whole principle of NPOV policy and is exactly what the policy was designed to stop. Assert facts, including facts about opinions—but do not assert the opinions themselves.{WP:ASF) I've provided overwhelmimg evidence that 'system tray' use is prevalent by nearly all mainstream companies and publications. One single person does not counter that. The only way his view could be included is by stating that it is his opinion. Language has changed and wikipedia needs to reflect that. You can't add a personal point of view to the article as if it were fact as my original edit was to ammend a bad piece of NPOV violation there is no reason why it shouldnt stand, continually reverting these edits is not helpful. You're are trying to make moral decisions on the use of language based on a single POV, who cannot represent that it's not objective and it's not the way wikipedia works. --neonwhite user page talk 03:29, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm at a lost here. We are describing a technology that is developed by a single company. That company has named the technology a certain way and refers to it in it's documentation that way. We're not talking about something generic.

"You're are trying to make moral decisions on the use of language based on a single POV"

You keep saying that this is my opinion or my personal point of view, but I've cited several authoritative sources, including the recent product documentation, and one of the original developers of the technology that speaks directly to the issue at hand. I don't understand how can continue to say I'm making a "moral decision" on a "single POV".
You are the one who keeps saying it's "almost exclusively the term used these days" which is your own POV. What terms Adobe uses to refer to Microsoft products is solely their issue and is hardly representative. Charles Oppermann (talk) 10:06, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
You have only provide the opinion of one person this is not fact and cannot be represented as such. What microsoft called ii originally is irrelevant if everyone (including alot of microsoft's own documentation [15][16]) knows it as something else that is what wikipedia should represent. We cannot say that something is wrong or right full stop, let alone base that on a single person's POV. This is simply wikipedia policy. I have shown the use of 'system tray' term is wide spread and used by developers, journalists and major computer corporations these represent a far greater weight than a single persons opinion. It is simply common sense that it is the preferred term. Adobe developers are just as important on this subject as any other developers. --neonwhite user page talk 22:37, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
As a compromise how about referring to notification area as the 'official' name and system tray as an 'unofficial' name? --neonwhite user page talk 04:51, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
No. Just because a lot of people use the wrong term, doesn't make the wrong term correct. Given that you apparently didn't even know who Raymond Chen was when you decided to describe him as an "unreliable source" pretty much authoritatively proves that you don't know what you're talking about. The original text was correct. Leave it alone. -/- Warren 07:25, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
There is no such thing as a wrong or right term. This is the major mistake being made. Read WP:NPOV {Assert facts, including facts about opinions—but do not assert the opinions themselves.). There is no right or wrong and we certainly do not get to dictate on a wikipedia article which is which. Wikipedia represents facts not opinions and it doesnt attach values. We can say it's not an official term but we can't attach value to it. --neonwhite user page talk 22:37, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

First of all, you don't need to quote WP:NPOV at me; I've been working on the encyclopedia a lot longer than you have, and have more than twice the number of edits you have, and am well-versed in the subject matter. Check my user page if you doubt any of this.
Second, as Raymond Chen has stated (and this statement was published in his book, by the way) the misnaming is pretty widespread, even to the point where it's been used by Microsoft employees. To the untrained eye, this seems counterintuitive, or that both names are correct. Microsoft is a huge company, and quite often you'll have articles written by people who don't communicate with the teams who write the documentation. If they had, they would read things like this from the Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines:
When referring to the notification area: Refer to the notification area as the notification area, not the system tray.
or this from the Windows XP user documentation:
The notification area is the collection of small icons near your system clock, in the bottom-right corner of your screen.
or how about MSKB 310429:
This step-by-step article describes how to remove items from the notification area. The notification area is incorrectly called the "system tray" by many people.
You'll never find anyone claiming that "system tray" is the correct name, however... especially not after the person who designed the damned thing said that that's wrong. You will, however, find a lot of older references like this:
The notification area (formerly known as the "system tray") will be less crowded with the notification area cleanup turned on.
Formerly, eh? In what version of Windows was this the case that it was called the system tray?
Now let's look at a practical example of why we need to say that "system tray" is incorrect (apart from the fact that I found two more references that say precisely that). My name is spelled Warren. If you got a thousand people to say, "no, his name is spelled Wahreun", that doesn't make those thousand people correct unless I say it's correct. The fact that a thousand people spelled my Wahreun because they didn't know that it's spelled Warren could probably be mentioned in a Wikipedia article on me, but if I explicitly make a statement saying, "no, it's spelled Warren!", then, by definition, alternative spellings are authoritatively incorrect, and must be identified as such. They are all incorrect. This has nothing to do with "opinion", and WP:NPOV doesn't have anything to do with it. Official names, as defined by their creators, aren't a matter of opinion or what is commonly used.
Finally, a reminder about your behaviour here: You removed the authoritative source that disproves your point, in order to back up your argument, and you're continuing to add POV tags without respecting your fellow editors enough to write an edit summary saying what you're doing. Dude, this is weak. You've been around long enough that you should know that kind of shit doesn't fly on Wikipedia. Do yourself a favour and back away from this one -- you aren't going to get your way by edit warring. Okay? -/- Warren 23:23, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Let's calm down a bit. I think it's clear from the history of the term "system tray" that there's no meaningful sense in which the term can be said to be "mistaken". "Unofficial" (as suggested by [User:Neon white|Neon white]]) is a much more accurate characterization, but even that is hardly necessary to mention: many elements of software systems have (sometimes many) unofficial names, and we don't make a practice of belaboring the distinction between those and the "official" ones when the unofficial ones are in wide use or have clear histories. In fact, I'd argue that rather than emphasizing that the term "system tray" is "mistaken", I'd mention that it is the original term. AldaronT/C 21:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
But that's wrong. We have definitive, reliable sources that say so: Windows XP documentation. Windows Vista user interface guidlines. Raymond Chen, who was on the team that designed the feature. Go read his blog entry on the subject, now that I've restored it to the article after you removed it. And speaking of which, 'why are you removing reliable sources that don't agree with the point that you're trying to make, Aldaron? Why? What in the hell kind of purpose does this serve? The encyclopedia doesn't improve with this kind of bullshit behaviour. The original phrasing starts with the word "commonly", which acknowledges that the term "system tray" is in widespread use; the Chen source backs this up -- we can't remove that source because it backs up something that's stated in the article! -/- Warren 23:23, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

i won't speak to the question of what is currently the "official," "definitive," or "correct" name of the "system tray," but i can give you some history, if you're interested. i co-lead the microsoft team that designed the "cairo" user interface — the progenitor of the ui found in win95. in the earliest days of its design, i named the universally-accessible area at the bottom of the screen "the tray." i didn't particularly like the name, but at the time the area was for universally-accessible storage only. no buttons, no menus, just file-system objects. so it almost made sense. plus it was a bit of an in-joke — bill's nickname was "trey," so it caused a bit of a laugh. anyway, despite the mostly-crappy name and the fact that as the area's design progressed it included a space for menus and notification (among other things), the name — used to describe the area as a whole — mostly stuck. shortly before the cairo design was handed off to the win95 dev team, other names for parts of the tray began cropping up: "notification area," "command area," et cetera. when the central area of the tray began to include the representation of current "tasks" (running applications, or open windows), someone on the win95 team suggested "task bar," and some people began to use "task bar" (or "taskbar") to describe the entire tray. anyway, for what it's worth, that's the history.C-markma (talk) 23:10, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

i suppose i should also comment on the raymond chen quotation above:

Why do some people call the taskbar the tray? Short answer: because they're wrong.

to be fair, i have not read chen's book, so i may be missing in this tiny excerpt a larger and more cogent argument <g>, but long before it was called the taskbar, that particular component of the user interface was called the tray. in fact, this was the name used the first time the component was disclosed publicly, at an early pdc years before win95 was released. so, really, what does chen mean by "wrong"? unless he's channeling some platonic microsoft marketing ideal (which is fine, as far as it goes), or advocating a time-line that begins at a rather late date in the component's history, i don't get it. C-markma (talk) 03:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

There was indeed something else in the beta builds of Windows 95 that was called a "tray", but it wasn't the thing that we call the "notification area" today. The tray predated the entire taskbar. That particular thing didn't make it into Windows 95, though, and referring to any user interface element in the taskbar as a "tray" is incorrect because there never, ever was a user interface element in the taskbar called a "tray". Here's the blog posting that explains this, and pay attention to the wording. There is a broken image on that page that demonstrates the original tray; here is the original image. Remember that he was on the team that designed this feature, and he's put his foot down and said "this is how it is". Understand that Wikipedia's policy on verifiability requires us to take his word above that of a pseudonymous poster on a talk page. You might be right, or you might be remembering it wrong, or you might be my uncle. I'm not saying I don't believe you, but keep in mind that the verifiability policy is our bulwark against people making shit up and tossing it in.... if you can provide some kind of reliable source that agrees with what you're saying, then we can put it into the article. -/- Warren 23:32, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
You seem very passionate about this issue, but if you read the comments in the sources you cite, you'll see that there's really quite a bit of dispute about this issue, in light of which one person's claims (Chen's) really can't be taken as having much authority. If C-markma started a blog and posted his history there would it suddenly become "verifiable"? My own memory of the history of the terms is precisely as C-markma describes it. That makes two people who were there from the beginning who believe that you're wrong in your crusade and in particular in your attachment to (a selective reading) of the Chen source. But since neither of us is "verifiable" (perhaps I should start a blog too) it seems we have to be content to move on and let you leave readers with an inaccurate article. AldaronT/C 00:35, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I want to make sure that one statement above doesn't go unchallenged.

"in light of which one person's claims (Chen's) really can't be taken as having much authority"

It's not one person though. That's just the one source that speaks the clearest to the issue. Source sources include the product documentation for the past several versions of Windows (inbox and available online).

it seems we have to be content to move on and let you leave readers with an inaccurate article.

How is the article "inaccurate?" Everything regarding this discussion has multiple references. Let me state it another way: If you think the article (which current says 'commonly - but incorrectly - known as the 'system tray') is inaccurate, then would you consider the Microsoft documentation on the subject to be inaccuracte? So if you sit down and press WIN+F1 and search on "taskbar"[2] and it references "notification area" - that's inaccurate? Are you really trying to suggest that company that creates the technology, makes it available and documents its is WRONG because it's using a term that you think is not common enough?
Charles Oppermann (talk) 01:45, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Nobody is disputing that microsoft prefers the original term. Microsoft, however, do not dictate how language develops and if language has developed a different prefered term then wikipedia should reflect that. We do not get to attach a value to this or say that it is wrong that language has developed this way (which is what Raymond Chen is conducting, a pointless rant against etymology). We do not get to decide wrong from right. We can say some people call it this and some people call it that, we can say that one is an official name used by microsoft and one is a commonly used alternative derived from systray.exe, we can also say Raymond Chen doesnt like it and thinks it's wrong, we can say microsoft documentation says one thing, most others uses the alt. term but we cannot say that one is wrong and the other is right as if it were fact. This is policy and not up for discussion here. One guys' personal opinion from his blog does not change wikipedia policy. We can say is that the term is in common use but not preferred by microsoft. I think that demonstrates a good compromise. --neonwhite user page talk 02:32, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Secn break (systray/notfn area)[edit]

Comments do not matter. They are not reliable sources. Wikipedia does not care about truth, only verifiability (by means of citations to reliable sources). Following the same guidelines, is it verifiable that the official name is "Notification area"? Yes. Is it verifiable that system tray is the wrong name? Yes. Is it verifiable that even though system tray is quite popularly used it is wrong and MS (who happens to be the ultimate authority for anything Windows) encourages not to use it? Yes. Thats it. Any contradiction would be violation of either WP:NPOV or WP:OR or both. But because it is also verifiable that people do call it system tray, we can include a note of it like "The last part of the taskbar is called notification area[Add ref that says its the official name], which is also incorrectly[Add ref that says this usage is incorrect] referred to as system tray[Add ref that says it is referred to as systray]." --soum talk 04:44, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

That is incorrect and a common misunderstanding of policy. It is not verifiable that system tray is the wrong name, it is only verifiable that one person thinks it is the wrong name. A personal opinion that is clearly not the common opinion judging by the amount of sources that use the unofficial term and therefore a fringe theory. Microsoft is not an authority on how the english language develops and what names people give to things. We have equally reliable sources that say it is called the system tray. [17] --neonwhite user page talk 02:48, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Microsoft is, however, the authority on what the correct name of stuff that they made is. We can't not use their terminology. An American university's "help desk" web site is not as reliable a source as Microsoft's documentation and Microsoft's employees when it comes to defining the correct and incorrect names of something Microsoft made.
In any event, you should probably give up this argument -- you're telling an experienced Administrator and tireless contributor to Wikipedia that they're engaging in a "common misunderstanding of policy". That should be a pretty good sign that you're about to go careening off the deep end. The article is right, and you were wrong, okay? Let it go. -/- Warren 05:11, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
No, this is a clear violation of NPOV policy. I'm sorry i'm not the kind of editor than can be bullied by an uncivil editor. You will have to debate your point properly. --neonwhite user page talk 00:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I've come into this discussion fairly late and to be honest, it seems absolutely ridiculous to me to be going back and forth all the time about what the official name is or isn't because even Microsoft seems confused. It refers to the area as both the notification area and the system tray, sometimes in the same document[18][19], so regardless of what the official name is, Microsoft seems happy to use both. If that's good enough for Microsoft, it should be good enough for us. That said, there are numerous references stating that the area is officially called the notification area. Here's another. There's really no reason the article can't, and for that matter shouldn't, state that the notification area is commonly called the system tray (even by Microsoft) but that the correct name is notification area. There are enough citations around to cover all of that and it should satisfy everyone who is serious about improving the article. --AussieLegend (talk) 04:12, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

We can say it is official but saying it is correct or incorrect is attaching value with is a violation of WP:NPOV. We cannot say in an article that it is wrong because microsoft say so. --neonwhite user page talk 00:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Careful here: A statement like "Microsoft is confused" makes no sense, because the thing we call "Microsoft" is not a thing capable of human conditions such as confusion. There are ~80,000 people working for Microsoft. You aren't required to correctly answer questions like, "is it called the system tray or notification area?" in order to be employed by the company, nor is every single little thing published on Microsoft's monumentally massive web site always going to be perfectly correct from a naming perspective. When you think about it in human terms, you can't expect (for example) that some guy who works on the internals of Active Directory to be able to rattle off the names of all the editions of Windows XP and Vista, and be able to describe the differences between them. It's not his job to know that. If he were to make a factual error in this area while writing an article for some Technet publication, would that mean that "Microsoft is confused?" No, of course not... it means that a couple of individuals didn't fact-check before publishing.
Another way to look at it might be to say that a student at a university isn't considered a reliable source on facts about some department they aren't involved in, just because they happen to attend the same school.
What you've got to do is apply the principles of reliability and verifiability to a more precise level than that amorphous blob of ~80,000 people. Case in point: Raymond Chen is a reliable source as far as Windows Shell subjects are concerned (which includes the taskbar), because he is a (perhaps the) recognised expert in this field (thus satisfying the WP:SELFPUB portion of the verifiability policy), but he is not really a reliable source when it comes to, say, Office Open XML. -/- Warren 05:41, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
The number of people working for Microsoft is irrelevant and giving comments by Raymond Chen more weight than Microsoft employees because you think they may or may not work in a particular department is WP:OR. Microsoft Knowledge Base articles are presented under the Microsoft banner, published on the official Microsoft website and and therefore have to be treated as authoritative when it comes to matters concerning Microsoft, regardless of who wrote them and who wrote them and what their qualifications are is usually not known. Nor does the author need to be known. When something is published by a company under a company banner it ceases to be just the word of an individual employee and becomes the word of the company unless there is a disclaimer. If you discount information published by Microsoft because it doesn't match what Raymond Chen says then what you are saying is that Microsoft is not a reliable source and that, quite frankly, is a ludicrous proposition.
Your analogy regarding the student is flawed in the context of this discussion. If that student produces a paper that is presented under the banner of the university then it becomes a document supported by the university regardless of its content and the qualifications of the author. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:57, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
That's because the University isn't the publisher whereas in this case mircrosoft is. --neonwhite user page talk 00:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
We have one authoritative source (Raymond Chen) saying that even though "system tray" is the wrong usage, it is in popular use. The MS KB articles have nothing that contradicts that claim (using the term "system tray" despite it being wrong). It uses both terms without without any clarification of the correctness of any. So, that reference does not help in our dispute. But we have the official UX guidelines saying that it is called the notification area, definitively, authoritatively. This (IMO) settles that "notification area" is the official name and "system tray" is an alternative term (the same thing stated by the MSKB articles). We still don't have any reference refuting Raymond's claim and saying "system tray" is NOT an incorrect usage. So, connect the dots and you get "The last part of the taskbar is called notification area, which is also incorrectly referred to as system tray." --soum talk 08:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
"It uses both terms without without any clarification of the correctness of any."
The reference that I provided earlier[20] does clarify that "notification area" is the correct term. There shouldn't be any argument that it isn't the correct term. I agree with your dot connection but I think it's important to also point out that Microsoft tends to use both terms since this is probably what causes the confusion over the name. I've looked through my Windows 95 and NT4.0 resource kits as well as original Windows 95 and NT4.0 manuals and there's nothing in any of them that says in black and white "this is the notification area" or "this is the system tray" which certainly doesn't help. Even worse, my Microsoft course notes from the Windows NT courses I did in 1996 actually call it the system tray so the problem has existed since the Win95 GUI first appeared and is really Microsoft's fault. --AussieLegend (talk) 08:38, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I guess that the KB 310429 article is the official reference needed to satisfy those who question the Raymond Chen source. And its not just here, Microsoft ends up creating a branding mess almost everywhere.--soum talk 08:55, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
No. You're still going to have to get over the amorphous blob problem! Another example of what's going on here might be the "corrections" section you typically see in newspapers. Here's today's list from the New York Times. Read it very carefully. Notice how many errors were made? Sometimes the errors serious enough that the correct version was the exact opposite of what was originally stated. The NY Times publishes a list like this every single day. Guess what? Microsoft makes mistakes in publishing, too. You can dig up all the articles and all the knowledge base articles and all the resource kits you want, and they can all say "system tray" or "notification area", but Microsoft has repeatedly published statements saying, "no, system tray is wrong, notification area is correct", and that correction becomes authoritative, and overrides whatever Microsoft has said before. The right thing to do here is to say that the "system tray" term is common, and that it is incorrect. We have reliable sources that say exactly this.
There's also nothing "OR" about saying Raymond Chen works on the Windows Shell team. This is a verifiable fact, and it's not under serious dispute by anybody with knowledge of the field. Go look at [21], the Windows Shell team's official web site. Whose blog appears on the home page? Right. He wrote TweakUI, which alone gives anybody instant "expert" status on the Windows Shell. He writes a column for Technet magazine called "Windows Confidential", which covers shell issues almost exclusively. But the recognition of Chen as an expert goes way beyond that. His name appears in books published by Joel Spolsky and presents Chen as representative of an entire philosophy of how Windows is developed. Heck, right on the first page of Google results for this name, you'll find this quote: "Raymond is one of the “instantly credible” developers at Microsoft; if you asked him a question there was no need to double check his answer, it was, by definition, correct." He's appeared on .NET Rocks, a popular podcast in the Windows software development world.
You can learn all this for yourself by doing some research. WP:NPOV implores people to do exactly that. It's plainly obvious that stopping ones research at "well if it's published under Microsoft's banner, it must be true!" isn't going to be good enough for this specific issue, which is why we need to dig deeper, find the subject experts, and cite them. -/- Warren 15:34, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
@Neonwhite, there is no misunderstanding of policy here. Raymond Chen is an authoritative source on anything Windows Shell-related. He doesn't need to think, he knows. And that is what separates Raymond Chen from people like you and me. Just because the term "system tray" is in popular usage does not make the fact that it is wrong a fringe theory. The facts here are: its correct name is Notification area (those who confer the name are the ones with the authority to decide whats correct, official literature is the means by which it is conveyed: [22]), any other name is an incorrect name (no matter how you want to sugarcoat the other name with terms like unofficial does not change the fact that it is against the correct name, and thus incorrect. For example, my name is correct the way I say it is, you saying it differently makes it incorrect, even though many people might say it your way), and lastly, the incorrect name is in popular usage. These are the facts, state it. Don't try to apply your own coloring to it (e.g, unofficial - do you have any source claiming that the unofficial usage is also a correct usage?), that would be WP:OR? And even if there are such sources, we are in no position to use one over the other. In presence of contrasting viewpoints, we present both - not censor one to promote the other. --soum talk 06:09, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
There is clearly, Raymond Chen presents a personal opinion only (the source is a personal blog, opinion pieces are still opinion pieces regardless of the status of the author) that is not shared by very many people in the mainstream including Microsoft which uses both terms. I can site any number of computer text books, magazines, company websites that use the term. This makes it a very small fringe view. Whilst he may be accurate in that the correct term originally was 'notification area', there is a point, when everyone else is using a different term, that he become's wrong. NPOV states clearly that we shouldn't attach value to a statement. Things like wrong, right, bad, good etc. We can't say stealing is wrong even if most people think it is. I refer you to Wikipedia:NPOV#Let_the_facts_speak_for_themselves. This is exactly the same. We shouldn't say something is wrong we should state the facts, that Raymond Chen and microsoft promote one term but the other is more popular and let the reader make the value decision. We can say it's unofficial because that is cited and has no value. Microsoft can say it is wrong but wikipedia can't. We can only say that microsoft say it is wrong. We have to reported facts about opinions rather than the opinion by itself. Therefore in line with policy the wording could be: Despite being commonly known as the 'system tray', Microsoft maintains that 'notification area' is the correct term and promotes it's use --neonwhite user page talk 00:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
The misunderstanding being made is that there is such a thing is wrong or right in language development. There isn't and wikipedia is certainly not here to dictate how we should speak and what terms should be used or become popular, which is precisely what this article is doing. It's like saying a slang term is incorrect. It might not be preferred by alot of people but it's not wrong, it's just an different word for something. System tray is the prefered term by the majority that is simply common sense and it's unlikely that will change. We have to editor wikipedia based on what is best for the reader, using a term that is not in common use is both confusing and unhelpful. --neonwhite user page talk 00:21, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
You are missing the point here: This is NOT language development, and it does not depend on community consensus. A company that creates something reserves the right to name them and decide what name is right and what is wrong. You disagree with the Raymond Chen reference being reliable enough. Fine (I could argue of its reliability, but thats not important here). Here's the KB 310429 article with Microsoft's seal of approval that it is wrong, but that still is in popular usage. Where's the citation that refutes Microsoft and says the "unofficial" usage is NOT incorrect? We have provided citations that it IS incorrect. How about that for letting facts speak for themselves? When you have valid citations that say it is incorrect but you argue that it is invalid because of language development bullshit, you are applying your own spin on the facts and that is original research. Saying it is wrong isn't OR (because we are directly quoting from the reference) but saying it isn't is OR and is deliberately censoring information to suit a certain point of view. Instead of saying everyone else is are policy-ignorants and pointing them to the policy pages at the drop of a hat (we all are established editors and as much as it might surprise you, we DO know the policy, thank you very much), you might probably do better if you read all the applicable policies yourself. --soum talk 02:14, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
A company that creates something reserves the right to name them and decide what name is right and what is wrong no-one is disputing that microsoft have a clear idea of which term is correct. The dispute is that wikipedia cannot say that using any term is inherently wrong. We state the facts and let the reader decide not make moral decisions for the reader. I haven't disputed the reliabilty of Raymond Chen's blog but it should be clear that this is an opinion piece in a blog and should be represented as his opinion. Wikipedia doesnt source value from microsoft for anything. There are many examples of language develoment leading to misuse of words becoming common place and accepted. Whilst some may still believe that uses are wrong or right. It's still just an opinion. Wikipedia shouldn't be making judgements on that. In this case it's clear that common usage has superceded microsofts opinion. I'm not suggesting that the article should say it isnt wrong, it should make no moral judgement at all. This is clearly seen in policy. Regardless of whether editors know the policy if they continually ignore it in order to further your own POV, it may be considered disrupting the consensus. --neonwhite user page talk 15:07, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Secn break 2 (systray/notfn area)[edit]

Instead of bringing in OR and lot of convoluted text to fix up the POV, please point out how the POV exists in the first place. It says that the correct term is "notification area" and even though "system tray" is used, it is the one more popularly used. And with reliable citations. It fully documents both sides of the coin, without promoting any one view over the other. How the hell does this constitute an NPOV-violation? You edit deliberately engages in censoring the official point of view that the use is incorrect. Since MS is the official authority on anything Windows, the power to say whats correct and whats not rests with them, not us Wikipedia editors. Your edit introduces more POV than it removes. The official stance cannot be removed, if we are to achieve total NPOV. But we may qualify the other side a bit more, provided you can get reliable citations. --soum talk 14:44, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

The POV issue has always been and remains that it is wikipedia policy to state facts and facts about opinions, including ones that contain a value (right, wrong, good, bad etc) but not to state a value by itself as if they are fact. It's nothing to do with citations or the reliability of them. As you correctly state the official point of view that the use is incorrect and that is what the article should state to comply with NPOV policy. In that we are not says something is wrong but that it is considered wrong by microsoft. In summary, we cannot say that someone is or was wrong to do something we can only state that sources are of that opinion. This is quite clearly spelled out in WP:ASF. --neonwhite user page talk 14:53, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. The issue is pretty simple to those of us who haven't backed ourselves into a corner and is just as Neon white says. Let's follow the majority view here (and in the view clearly reflected in an unprejudiced reading of all the cited material) and drop this aggressive notion of "wrong" and have it say something closer to "original" or "unofficial but widely used" or "discouraged but popular". That should be a simple adjustment to make. AldaronT/C 15:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
The policy uses the case of stealing. That stealing is wrong is a value or opinion which we cannot state as fact dispite the fact that majority of people probably are of that opinion and i'm sure you can easily find authoratative sources that say the same. It clearly states that When we discuss an opinion, we attribute the opinion to someone and discuss the fact th'at they have this opinion.' I have suggest what i think is a good compromise that states the facts with no values attached but they were ignored in favour of the agressive POV warrioring. --neonwhite user page talk 15:13, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
You should go ahead and make the edit you suggested. It's by far the best idea that's come out of this discussion so far. AldaronT/C 15:33, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
No you should not make the edit. But wait for a clear consensus. Just one person agreeing isn't consensus. I suggest we voluntarily agree not to touch the article during that period - till all of us agree to it. Or else I will ask for protection.
@Neon white, Your example of stealing does not apply here. Because stealing isn't a name given to something by a single entity that holds all rights to it. There in lies the difference. The name here isn't a language issue; probably even trademarks are involved. We cannot censor the fact that Microsoft considers the usage wrong. We can however say something on the lines of "...the area is notification area, more commonly known as system tray - a name Microsoft considers incorrect - ...". (That takes care of your attribution problem, I apologize I didn't notice that the usage wasn't attributed in the first place; this is what happens when you join a discussion midway :-p). If something is verifiably considered to be wrong by the authoritative entity, saying it is unofficial just for the sake of compromise, ignoring all official documentation is serious breach of NPOV and not to say OR if it is not supported by the reference. The fact that MS themselves use it can be mentioned but I don't see it adding any more information.
@Aldaron, you say you want an unprejudiced reading of the cited materials. But you are suggesting censoring of the official viewpoint! How the hell does that constitute a lack of prejudice? "Let's follow the majority view here" is the perjudice. Report both sides, don't promote obe viewpoint over the other. --soum talk 16:11, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Stealing is a perfect example that is used in the policy article. Stealing is a term referring to an act, it was given to that act by persons or people unknown. Regardless it is irrelelvant who gives the name. There is no exception to WP:NPOV policy on these grounds. No-one has suggested that we 'censor the fact that Microsoft considers the usage wrong' In fact i have clearly suggested that the article should say exactly what you have suggested above but it has been continually rejected in favour of the assertion that this use of a non-microsoft term is universally wrong, as far as i understand it violates NPOV policy. --neonwhite user page talk 15:13, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I believe wording along the lines the area is notification area, more commonly known as system tray - a name Microsoft considers incorrect - ...". is the most descriptive. Simply saying the area is notification area, more commonly but incorrectly known as system tray ..." would leave the reader wondering incorrect by whom?--Work permit (talk) 01:33, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
That's a good suggestion. I'd propose a (hopefully) minor change that removes the word "more". Instead of "...notification area, more commonly known as the system tray - ..." I would suggest: "...notification area, commonly known as the system tray - ..." Is that acceptable to the other editors? Charles Oppermann (talk) 02:04, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
It looks like we can finally put this to rest. I've made the edit, which really just follows Neon white's long-ago suggestion, and ChuckOp has added back the reference. I'd say we're done here! AldaronT/C 16:36, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
...and there was much rejoicing. Charles Oppermann (talk) 20:45, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

All right, color me confused, but all the discussion here mentions the "system tray" as an alternate term for the notification area. Yet Aldaron says that's wrong? Powers T 02:36, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

  • "The system tray is located in the Windows Taskbar, usually at the bottom right corner next to the clock."[23]
  • "Windows' system tray is on the far right end of your task bar."[24]
  • "See that area with the clock opposite your Start button? That's the System Tray."[25]
Need I go on? Powers T 02:39, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's the problem: it is confusing. Nether use is quite correct. None of the sources above have it right. Anything short of a several paragraph history is going to get it completely right. What we have now is a compromise. AldaronT/C 03:13, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Yep, confusing. I would assert that Microsoft "officially" calls it the notification area (Windows end-user and developer documentation), but there are other Microsoft sources (KB articles for example) that reference system tray. Certainly there are many non-Microsoft sources that refer to system tray which is why we were arguing about how to express both. Charles Oppermann (talk) 08:29, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Also Visual Basic and documentation nearly always refers to it as the system tray. [26][27][28] --neonwhite user page talk 16:33, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I think you might have missed my point, Charles. The article currently states that the entire taskbar is commonly known as the "system tray". I don't think that's supportable -- it's the notification area that's commonly known as the "system tray." Every edit in the debate above agrees with that, including the prototype text proposed by Work permit, and including the section headers. Every source I've found online agrees with that. Yet the article still says that the taskbar is commonly known as the system tray. Powers T 16:13, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
You are correct this was in the wrong place, it should be after 'notification area'. I have moved it. --neonwhite user page talk 16:33, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I have been following this great debate. Would it be appropriate to balance the line by saying "a name Microsoft considers incorrect but which nevertheless is used by them and the Windows community?" (Since both statements are perfectly true? This IMHO presents the whole picture to the reader) - xpclient talk 20:04, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


Can we use the diagram in this article [29]. It seems to be a clear diagram of the elements of the taskbar but i'm not sure about the copyright issues? --neonwhite user page talk 15:17, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I find this all fascinating[edit]

The patent for the taskbar as it shipped in Windows 95 appears to be US5757371, which they filed for on Dec 14 1995. For what it is worth it uses the words "notification area". Patent 5825357 appears to refer to Cairo and is a "continuation" of an abandoned 1993 application. AlistairMcMillan (talk) 14:37, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I've given up trying. I won't get into another edit war. This was all settled, but based on one person's reading of an old patent, they use that as justification for changing the *name* of the component in question. The patent in question refers to the Cairo-style interface, which was as a starting point during Windows 95 development and is not definitive. Regardless, the patent isn't the source of the name of the component; the documentation is. I've shown dozens of places in the documentation of the Windows product[30] where it's called "[taskbar] notification area". That's the name of the portion of the taskbar, you can call it whatever you want, but that's not it's given name.Charles Oppermann (talk) 18:04, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Are you happy with the article as it currently stands? Just in case someone edits before you read this, I'm referring to this version. AlistairMcMillan (talk) 19:08, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes I am, thank you. Charles Oppermann (talk) 05:01, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Registry entries and header files of SDKs consistently refer to it as "SysTray". From this I gather that while users have to call it "taskbar notification area", programmers are required to call it "SysTray".--Jost Riedel (talk) 14:04, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Actually if you look closely, the systray APIs just refer to the functions that were controlled by the systray.exe application that Raymond Chen mentioned in his blog, not the actual taskbar notification area itself. AlistairMcMillan (talk) 23:32, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Which might as well be. It's not that I ever called this thing SysTray, nor that I am going to. It's just that I find it inordinately funny that people started some sort of a crusade over the question if a moniker that has been used is to considered incorrect or not. Keep up the good work!--Jost Riedel (talk) 10:06, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


Do we really need a screenshot for each version? Most of the differences between the screenshots are really just differences in settings (some of them not even the default for the version shown):

  • The theme or color scheme
  • The presence and content of the Quick Launch toolbar
  • The contents of the notification area
  • What format the time is displayed in
  • The size of the task buttons
  • Whether or not the titles of running programs are shown

The only meaningful difference is the button for hidden notification icons and the Aero Peek button. - Josh (talk | contribs) 01:42, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry but you don't see any value in having a screenshot of the original implementation of the Windows taskbar, or a screenshot of the Windows taskbar that is going to be most familiar to readers? I've restored both.AlistairMcMillan (talk) 09:11, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

KDE3 Screenshot/description -> Update to KDE4 Please.[edit]

Could anyone update the KDE3 screenshot and description to KDE4 please? I am too biased. Kicker is no longer used at all and is gone with the end of KDE3, Plasma is now being used (and the Panel plasmoid).

System tray???[edit]

What microsoft calls the notification area is called the System Tray on NON-microsoft platforms. i.e. it's not at all incorrect to refer it to system tray on linux and othe fd.o platforms. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:00, May 1, 2010

Screen shot needed for clarity[edit]

In the beginning/lead of the article it would be valuable with a screen shot of an entire desktop to illustrate what the task bar is and where it is located. --Mortense (talk) 12:12, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Could someone please add a screenshot of the Vista Taskbar as well?[edit]

It would just make this article so neat and shiny. Thanks!

(Question, why doesn't Wikipedia auto-sign anonymous posts? doesn't it make sense that things SHOULD be that way? And also, why isn't there any "underline text" button in this form?

Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:08, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Microsoft Patent[edit]

Would like to see some information integrated on the Microsoft taskbar patent (talk) 03:47, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Windows 1[edit]

Windows 1.0 had a taskbar of sorts in which iconized programs would reside and I think it should be mentioned in the article. However, it wouldn't fit in the main Windows section, and it was never referred to as a taskbar, and its function wasn't exactly identical. So I propose creating a new section, "Predecessors". We would mention this feature in it, and move the implementations currently mentioned in "Other desktop environments" that precede Win95's taskbar to it. - Wikizzer (talk) 23:42, 4 November 2012 (UTC)


Why would the bar containing the charms be considered a type of taskbar? An appropriate place to discuss the charms is Windows shell. - Josh (talk | contribs) 23:22, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

If there is no objection I would like to move the charms content here to Windows shell. - Josh (talk | contribs) 20:28, 23 August 2013 (UTC)


Does the third party task bars really belong in the early implementation section? They seem to have been developed much later. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Microsoft Windows section taskbar pictures[edit]

I want to do some little changes to the order of pictures in this section of the article. I think it will be better if the Windows 95 taskbar will be the first from the top, then the XP, 7, 8 and lastly the 8.1 version at the bottom. Though the pictures may be on discussion, I might improve the article by reordering the pictures such that they show the chronological order of the taskbar versons. Is my suggestion better than the current version, or should it be retained? Japanese Rail Fan (talk) 03:56, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Dock (computing)[edit]

Content overlap is significant. WP:SIZERULE also recommends a merger because readable prose size of Dock (computing) is at 2 KB. Taskbar article already has a section in it. Codename Lisa (talk) 10:13, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Windows 10 - Quick Launch[edit]

This article needs to be updated to include Windows 10... Quick Launch is rumored to be hidden by default in recent versions of Windows but can perhaps still be activated in tricky ways, maybe even in Win10.- (talk) 13:55, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ [31]
  2. ^ "Windows Vista Help: The taskbar (overview)". Microsoft. Retrieved 2008-04-23.